Every hospital organization is unique and has attributes that separates them from others, these can include: number of beds, programs and services, budgets, patient population served, models of care and staffing models. However, there are many similarities – there never seems to be enough beds and inevitably patients have to wait for services, whether they be internal services or those provided by your community partners. Patient flow and patient throughput is a major focus in all hospitals. The question remains, how do we measure patient flow and what is the gold standard or benchmark for excellent patient flow?
Remaining in the hospital when a patient no longer requires an acute care setting puts them at risk for many reasons: nosocomial infections, physical deconditioning, and decreased mental status are some key examples. The longer the Length of Stay (LOS) exacerbates these and results in poor clinical outcomes and dissatisfied patients and families. In hospitals we, the care providers, are overwhelmed and are often task focused, which prohibits us from not focusing on progression of care. We need to be go back to basics and put the focus back on the patient and providing quality care.
Both of the NHS England initiatives (Clinical Utilisation Review and SAFER) cite evidence that patients deteriorate physically and cognitively in direct proportion to their length of stay; and for elderly patients this has a significant impact on life-expectancy. Their common goal is to minimise inappropriate delays to ensure Safe, Rapid Discharge or Transition of Patients and to avoid unnecessary hospital stays at an inappropriate level of care.
In this whitepaper, Peter Ellis, Managing Director Medworxx UK, discusses how both Clinical Utilisation Review (CUR) and SAFER (RED2GREEN days) intend to provide transparency and rigour to managing the patient's journey to ensure, at a minimum, daily assessment of key activities and status. These initiatives are interdependent and if appropriately integrated and harnessed, provide a comprehensive picture of the appropriateness of days of care across the organisation.
Big Data, aka the biggest challenge facing organizations everywhere, isn’t going away anytime soon. According to IBM, every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. To give you an idea of what that may look like, one terabyte alone is the equivalent of 4.5 million books — overwhelming to think about, especially for healthcare providers.
From medical charts and prescriptions to financial and insurance information, patients generate a lot of data throughout their lifetimes. Some of that data is structured. However, even within sophisticated healthcare organizations, most of it — paper documents, ad hoc emails, data created through monitoring devices, for example — is not. As healthcare moves toward more of an evidence based model, data will play more of an instrumental role. Now more than ever, it’s important for healthcare providers to realize organizational success has less to do with how much data they gather and more to do with how data is utilized.
Planning Makes Perfect
To improve patient outcomes, healthcare providers must plan appropriately and develop a comprehensive strategy for gathering and utilizing data. For starters, everyone — including the care team and senior executives — should reflect on how they would respond to the following questions regarding data management:
To view the full article from Andre and Lori, please visit Health IT Outcomes.